“PAPUA IN THE EYES AND HANS OF AMERICA” UNITED STATES COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN PAPUA

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Natalius Pigai

Adopted by Natalius Pigai

(Formar Commisioner Of The National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia / Human Rights Activist)

Berikut ini adalah Laporan Pelanggaran HAM di Indonesia oleh Amerika Serikat yang Saya sadur secara utuh tanpa menamba dan mengurangi baik kata maupun isinya.

Dalam Laporan ini dapat dipahami bahwa Indonesia merupakan salah satu negara yang gagal dalam melaksanakan pembangunan berbasis HAM. Laporan yang lengkap berisi berbagai kasus yang terjadi di Indonesia secara umum, Namun jika dilihat dari isi (content) executive summary didominasi oleh masalah di Papua. Papua menjadi Perhatian Serius Soal HAM. Terbukti dari jumlah “Kata”. 43 Hlm, Margin Normal, Font Calibri, jumlah Kata 19.868. 1). Papua 136 kata, 2). Jawa 10 kata. 3). Sumatera 0 kata. 4). Kalimantan 9 kata. 5). Sulawesi 10 kata. 6). Maluku 9 kata. Hal tersebut telah menunjukkan bahwa semua peristiwa pelanggaran HAM di Papua terpotret secara jelas, maka tidak menutup kemungkinan saat ini Masalah Papua sudah di mata dan tangan Amerika.

Jakarta mesti hentikan semua kebijakan yang berpotensi melanggar HAM termasuk Pemekaran Provinsi yang
dilihat sebagai Politik Pendudukan Sipil, Militer dan Perampasan Sumber Daya Alam. Hari ini oleh dunia barat
memandang konflik Jakarta dan Papua dinamakan Neo Kolonialisme dan Imperialisme (NEKOLIM)
yaitu adanya Penetrasi Kapital, Hegemoni Militer dan Sipil. Pada masa yang akan datang laporan ini sudah bisa
menjadi bahan dasar yang kuat bagi rakyat Papua untuk kampanye kejatan HAM di Dunia. Oleh karena itu saya
sarankan mesti melalui solusi yang tepat dengan membuka ruang demokrasi melalui Dialog yang bermartabat.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

1. Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: “ serious abuses in the conflict in Papua and West Papua Provinces, including unlawful civilian harm, torture and physical abuses” and “crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting members of racial and ethnic minority groups”.

2. Armed conflict between government forces and separatist groups continued in Papua and West Papua Provinces. There were numerous reports of both sides committing abuses against civilians including killings, physical abuse, and destruction of property. The conflict caused the displacement of thousands of residents. Outside Papua and West Papua, there were numerous reports of unknown actors using digital harassment and intimidation against human rights activists and academics who criticized government officials, discussed government corruption, or covered issues related to the conflict in Papua and West Papua.
Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person

A. ARBITRARY DEPRIVATION OF LIFE AND OTHER UNLAWFUL OR POLITICALLY
MOTIVATED KILLINGS

3. There were numerous reports that security officials committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. Many of these reports related to security forces’ counterinsurgency

operations against armed separatist groups in Papua and West Papua (see section 1.g.). In many cases of alleged extrajudicial killings, police and the military did not conduct any investigations and, when they did, failed to disclose either the fact or the findings of these internal investigations. Official statements related to abuse allegations sometimes contradicted nongovernmental organization (NGO) accounts, and the frequent inaccessibility of areas where violence took place made confirming facts difficult.

B. DISAPPEARANCE

4. Outside Papua and West Papua (see section 1.g.) there were no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities. The government and NGOs reported little progress in accounting for persons who previously disappeared, including disappearances that occurred when Timor-Leste was still part of Indonesia. NGOs reported little progress in prosecuting those responsible for such disappearances and noted many officials suspected of being involved in disappearances continued to serve in the government (see section 1.c.).

C. TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT

5. On June 22, police detained a 20-year-old man, Yohan Ronsumbre, on suspicion of theft in Biak Numfor Regency, Papua Province. NGOs reported that during the detention police officers attempted to force Ronsumbre to confess by punching him and pouring boiling water on his right arm. Ronsumbre’s lawyers reported the incident to police, the national Ombudsman, and the National Commission on Human Rights. In July a police representative told media they were investigating the incident. As of November 24, there was no update on the investigation or action taken against the officers involved.

6. Internal investigations undertaken by security forces were often opaque, making it difficult to know which units and actors were involved, especially if they occurred in Papua or West Papua. Internal investigations were sometimes conducted by the unit accused of the abuses, or in high-profile cases by a team sent from police or military headquarters in Jakarta. Cases involving military personnel could be forwarded to a military tribunal for prosecution or, in the case of police, to public prosecutors. These trials lacked transparency, and the results were not always made public. Victims or their families may file complaints with the National Police Commission, National Commission on Human Rights, or National Ombudsman to seek an independent inquiry into the incident. The lack of transparent investigations and judicial processes continued to hamper accountability in multiple past cases involving security forces.
Prison and Detention Center Conditions

7. Physical Conditions: “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 to September 2021, concern about the rapid spread of COVID-19 in prisons led officials

to grant early. This mass sentence reduction, however, did not apply to inmates convicted for “political crimes,” such as Papuan activists”.

D. ARBITRARY ARREST OR DETENTION

8. Arbitrary Arrest: There were reports of arbitrary arrests by police, primarily by the Criminal Investigation Department and the Mobile Brigade Corps. There were multiple media and NGO reports of police temporarily detaining persons for criticizing the government, participating in peaceful demonstrations, and other nonviolent activities. “NGOs reported numerous cases of arbitrary arrest across the country, with numerous cases in Papua and West Papua and in connection with political protests and property disputes. Most of those detained in such cases were released within 24 hours.”

E. DENIAL OF FAIR PUBLIC TRIAL
Political Prisoners and Detainees

9. NGOs estimated that as of July, seven political prisoners from Papua and West Papua were incarcerated, either awaiting trial or after being convicted under treason and conspiracy statutes, including for the display of banned separatist symbols.

10. According to Amnesty International, a small number of the 188 Papuans detained between January and July for participating in peaceful protests were charged with treason or other criminal offenses.

11. On May 9, security forces arrested Victor Yeimo, spokesperson for the pro- independence National Committee for West Papua in Jayapura, Papua Province. Lawyers for Yeimo reported he was arrested without a warrant and moved to the Mobile Brigade Corps’ detention center without notification to his lawyers. On August 30, the Jayapura District Court rejected Yeimo’s pretrial challenge to detention on the grounds of his unprocedural arrest. Yeimo was charged with criminal conspiracy, incitement, and treason for his alleged involvement in violent antiracism protests in Papua and West Papua Provinces in 2019. NGOs alleged that the charges against Yeimo were a baseless attempt to silence nonviolent advocacy for Papuan separatism. NGO requests for his release on health grounds were rejected. His hospitalization, however, delayed the start of his trial, and as of November 24, the trial had yet to begin.

12. On July 22, the East Jakarta District Court sentenced Roland Levy and Kevin Molama, two members of the Papuan Student Alliance, to five months in prison minus time served for assaulting another Papuan student. Police arrested the two activists on March 3 at a student dormitory in Jakarta. NGOs claimed the charges against the two were a fabricated attempt to disrupt the activists’ efforts.

13. Lokal (Papuans-red) activists and family members generally were able to visit political prisoners, but authorities held some prisoners on islands far from their families.

G. OTHER CONFLICT-RELATED ABUSE

14. The eastern provinces of Papua and West Papua are home to separatist movements advocating the creation of an independent state. The most well-known armed separatist group is the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka or OPM), which has been responsible for hundreds of attacks on government officials and civilians since the 1970s. The government has attempted to suppress these separatist movements primarily through a large military and police presence in the two provinces, and through a “special autonomy” status granted to the region in 2002 and revised in July. The most controversial provision of the revised autonomy law allows the central government to divide Papua Province into several smaller provinces without local legislative approval. Additionally, the revision provides for increased budgetary support for the Papuan region, but critics claimed these provisions also establish greater central government control of development and could further increase inequality. There were numerous reports of government and OPM forces engaging in killings, physical abuse and excessive force, and other abuses.

15. Killings: Restrictions on independent press and NGOs in the area, and on visits by international investigators, made it difficult to determine the authenticity of reports of, or to attribute responsibility for, killings in Papua and West Papua. The government and separatist groups often provided conflicting accounts about responsibility for a killing and whether the victim was a civilian or a combatant. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project reported a total of 59 fatalities in Papua and West Papua from January 1 to September 3, with 31 deaths caused by armed exchanges between separatist and government forces, 25 deaths caused by violence directed at civilians by separatist or government forces, and three deaths caused by riots or mob violence. KontraS reported that government forces had been involved in 16 cases of armed violence from January to July 29 resulting in 10 deaths, 17 injuries, and 73 arrests.

16. On February 15, security forces in Intan Jaya Regency, Papua, killed three brothers, Janius, Soni and Yustinus Bagau. The brothers were detained during joint police- military operations in the region following the killing of a soldier by members of an armed separatist group. Human rights organizations stated the brothers were physically abused and then killed while in government custody at a local clinic. The government reported the three were shot after attempting to escape and seize weapons from their guards. The government also stated that the brothers were members of an armed separatist group. As of November 24, there were no reports of a government investigation into the incident.

17. On March 6, soldiers from the 715/MTL Raider Infantry Battalion fatally shot Melianus Nayagau, a 17-year-old student, in Intan Jaya Regency, Papua. Military officials stated that Nayagau was a member of an armed separatist group, while his family and human rights organizations maintained he was a civilian and that his

death constituted an extrajudicial killing. Media reported that military forces killed Nayagau’s father in February 2020. As of November 24, there was no indication authorities had investigated the incident.

18. Media reported that on April 9, two soldiers dressed in civilian clothing belonging to the RK 762/VYS Infantry Battalion dragged Moses Yewen to a military post in Tambrauw Regency, Papua Province, and beat him after he asked to see their identification. On May 7, Yewen died, with some local politicians and human rights activists attributing his death to his beating a month prior and the lack of proper medical attention. Before his death Yewen reported the incident to the military police, but as of November 24 there were no reports of an investigation into the incident.

19. Investigations into some past high-profile cases of security force killings in Papua and West Papua continued. The investigation into the September 2020 killing of a Christian pastor, Yeremia Zanambani, in Intan Regency, Papua, was ongoing when, on June 5, an autopsy was conducted on Yeremia’s body. Military officials maintained that separatists killed Yeremia, while the National Commission on Human Rights and other human rights organizations stated that Yeremia’s death was an extrajudicial killing by members of the Hitadipa District Military Command

20. In December 2020 the military named nine soldiers from the 1705/Paniai District Military Command and PR433/Julu Siri Infantry Battalion as suspects in the April 2020 killing of Luther and Apinus Zanambani while in military detention in Intan Jaya Regency, Papua. As of November 24, however, there was no update on the investigation.

21. Media and government sources reported Papuan armed separatist groups’ killing of civilians. On January 30, separatist forces killed Boni Bagau in Intan Jaya Regency, Papua. According to media reports, the attackers suspected the victim was a military and police spy. In the days following the killing, police officials received a letter, purportedly from OPM, calling for “open war” in Papua. On April 8-9, separatist forces killed two teachers and burned several school buildings in Puncak Regency, Papua. An alleged spokesman for militants claimed that the teachers were armed, undercover security personnel. On August 22, six armed separatists killed two workers building the Trans-Papua Highway in Yahukimo Regency, Papua.

22. Physical Abuse, Punishment, and Torture: Human rights organizations and media reported security forces in Papua and West Papua often used excessive force on civilians and physically abused persons in detention.In December 2020 police arrested 13 activists from the pro-independence National West Papua National Committee in Merauke, Papua Province. Kristianus Yandum, one of the detained activists, was rushed to hospital from detention on February 8 and died on February 27. The West Papua National Committee stated Kristianus’ death was a result of physical abuse by police during his detention.

23. On July 28, two air force personnel forcibly restrained Steven Yadohamang, a deaf, indigenous Papuan man, in Merauke, Papua Province, with one of the officials pinning the man’s head to the ground with his boot. A video of the incident spread widely online. Military and government officials apologized for the use of excessive force and removed the commander of the Johanes Abraham Dimara Air Base in Merauke for failure to supervise his subordinates. An air force spokesperson stated the two officers would be tried in military court. As of November 24, there was no update on the status of trial.

24. Other Conflict-related Abuses: Separatist forces have publicly called for nonindigenous Papuans to leave Papua and West Papua. In June a spokesperson for OPM stated that migrants from other parts of the country should immediately leave Puncak, Intan Jaya, and Nduga Regencies to escape the violence there or be prepared to “bear the risk” of staying. In September the OPM spokesperson appealed to migrants from other parts of the country to immediately leave Sorong city in West Papua, which the spokesperson stated had become a war zone between government and separatist forces. These statements, as well as the ongoing violence displaced thousands of residents (see section 2.e.).

25. On August 16, protesters gathered in Yahukimo Regency, Papua Province, to protest the arrest of Victor Yeimo (see section 1.e.) and the extension and revision of special autonomy for Papua. NGOs reported that police opened fire on the demonstration and arrested 48 protesters. One protester, Ferianus Asso, was allegedly hit by police gunfire in the abdomen; he was treated at home until August 20, when he was taken to a local hospital. On August 22, Asso died from complications related to his injuries. As of November 24, there were no reports that the government investigated the incident.

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties
A. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, INCLUDING FOR MEMBERS OF THE PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

26. Freedom of Expression: The law criminalizes speech deemed defaming of a person’s character or reputation (see Libel/Slander Laws below); Although the law permits flying a flag symbolizing Papua’s cultural identity generally, a government regulation specifically prohibits the display of the Morning Star flag in Papua.

27. Freedom of Expression for Members of the Press and Other Media, Including Online Media: Independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views. The government, however, sometimes used regional and national regulations, including those on blasphemy, hate speech, defamation, false information, and separatism, to restrict media. Obtaining permits for travel to Papua and West Papua was difficult for foreign journalists, who reported bureaucratic delays or denials, ostensibly for safety reasons. The constitution protects journalists from interference, and the law states that anyone who deliberately prevents journalists from doing their job shall face a maximum prison sentence of two years or a substantial fine.

28. Libel/Slander Laws: Criminal defamation provisions prohibit libel and slander, which are punishable with five-year prison terms. The truth of a statement is not a defense. NGOs alleged that government officials, including police and the judiciary, selectively used criminal defamation to intimidate individuals and restrict freedom of expressions.

29. On September 22, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan filed criminal and civil defamation complaints with police against Fatia Maulidiyanti, coordinator for KontraS, and Haris Azhar, executive director of the Lokataru Foundation. The complaints focus on statements made by Maulidiyanti in an August 20 video hosted on Azhar’s YouTube channel accusing Pandjaitan of having an economic interest in the conflict in Papua, based on an August report by a coalition of 10 NGOs on mining interests in Papua. Pandjaitan’s lawyers and spokesperson denied the activists’ accusations and stated they lacked a factual basis for claiming Pandjaitan has a conflict of interest in Papua. As of year’s end, the Criminal Investigative Agency was investigating the complaint after efforts to arrange mediation sessions between the parties stalled.

30. National Security: The government used legal provisions barring advocacy of separatism to restrict the ability of individuals and media to advocate peacefully for self-determination or independence in different parts of the country.

31. Nongovernmental Impact: On November 7, a group calling itself the “Homeland Militant Defender Army” threw an explosive device into the house of the parents of human rights activist Veronica Koman in Jakarta, leaving behind a note containing threats and demanding that Koman return to the country. No one was injured in the bombing. Koman went to Australia in late 2019 after police stated she would be arrested on charges of inciting violent protests related to Papua. A police spokesperson stated that the bombing was likely related to Koman’s activism related to the situation in Papua. As of November 24, there has been no update on the status of the police investigation into the attack.

32. Internet Freedom. NGOs continued to report that government officials used direct pressure on internet service providers to degrade perceived opponents’ online communications. On April 21, SAFEnet, an NGO focused on internet freedom, reported suspicions that the government had restricted internet service four times in 2020 in Papua and West Papua to render the internet effectively unusable. This throttling was observed following a June 2020 Jakarta State Administrative Court decision that found that authorities exceeded their authority in directing an internet shutdown in Papua and West Papua in August and September 2019. On April 30, the day after the government announced its intention to designate armed Papuan separatist groups as terrorists, internet slowdowns hit four main regencies in Papua Province and continued until June 8. The Ministry of Information and Communication stated that the slowdowns were caused by seismic activity affecting the Biak-Jayapura submarine optical cable. Human rights activists reported their

suspicions that the slowdowns may have been designed to disrupt reporting on government human rights abuses in Papua Province.

33. In June a student from Teknokra University in Lampung, Khairul, was the target of cyber harassment for his role as contact person for a discussion on racial discrimination against Papuans. Khairul received numerous phone calls from unknown numbers, had his address released, received death threats, and had his social media account hacked. The incidents were reported to police, but according to lawyers for Khairul, police refused to investigate because of a lack of evidence.
Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

34. The government generally did not place restrictions on cultural events or academic freedom but occasionally disrupted sensitive cultural events or activities or failed to prevent nongovernmental groups from doing so. NGOs reported academic sanctions against students perceived as criticizing the government or discussing sensitive topics. NGOs also reported that professors at government universities sometimes faced threats of professional retaliation for political criticism of the government or involvement in events and studies related to sensitive topics such as the conflict in Papua.

B. FREEDOMS OF PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY AND ASSOCIATION Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

35. The law provides for freedom of assembly, and outside Papua the government generally respected this right. The law requires demonstrators to provide police with written notice three days before any planned demonstration and requires police to issue a receipt for the written notification. This receipt acts as a de facto license for the demonstration. Restrictions on public gatherings imposed to address the COVID- 19 pandemic limited the public’s ability to demonstrate. NGOs claimed that the government selectively enforced COVID-19 related restrictions to prevent antigovernment protests.

36. Police in Papua routinely refused to issue such demonstration receipts, believing the demonstrations would include calls for independence, an act prohibited by law. A Papua provincial police decree prohibits rallies by seven organizations labeled as pro-independence, including the National Committee of West Papua, the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, and the Free Papua Movement.

37. On May 25, several hundred persons joined a protest against the extension and revision of Papua’s special autonomy in Manokwari Regency, West Papua. Police dispersed the crowd, stating it was a violation of COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, arresting 146 individuals. On August 10, police arrested 14 students from Cendrawasih University in Jayapura, Papua Province for involvement in a protest demanding the release of Victor Yeimo (see section 1.e.). NGOs reported that these protesters were often injured in the process of arrest.

38. NGOs reported that protests related to Papua across the country were routinely disrupted by police and protesters were arrested. On January 27, protesters gathering in front of the parliament building in Jakarta were arrested before they could begin their demonstration against the extension and revision of Papua’s special autonomy. On March 5, Papuan students held a protest in Semarang, Central Java Province opposing the extension and revision of Papua’s special autonomy. Police disbursed the protest and arrested 20 individuals. On March 8, police arrested 46 persons in Denpasar, Bali Province, during a protest against the extension and revision of Papua’s special autonomy; police said they were arrested for violating COVID-19 related restrictions.

39. On March 9, Malang Police Chief Senior Commander Leonardus Harapantua Simarmata Permata threatened protesters from the Papuan Students Alliance in Malang, East Java. In a video of the incident, which was spread widely online, Permata can be heard saying “if you cross that line your blood is halal.” Activists and media reported the statement as a threat to shoot the protesters if they crossed a police barrier. On March 23, a Police Internal Affairs spokesperson stated they were investigating the incident. In June Permata was reassigned to be principal examiner for the National Police Forensic Lab; it was not clear whether this reassignment was related to the incident.

D. FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND THE RIGHT TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY

40. In-country Movement: The government continued to impose administrative hurdles for travel by NGOs, journalists, foreign diplomats, and others to Papua and West Papua. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, authorities severely limited movement in and out of Papua and West Papua, enforcing these restrictions far more strictly and for a longer period than elsewhere.

E. STATUS AND TREATMENT OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS

41. The law stipulates the government must provide for “the fulfillment of the rights of the people and displaced persons affected by disaster in a manner that is fair and in line with the minimum service standards.” IDPs in towns and villages were not abused or deprived of services or other rights and protections, but resource and access constraints delayed or hindered the provision of services to IDPs in some cases, notably for those who fled to the countryside and forests to escape conflict in Papua and West Papua.

42. The return of persons displaced by conflict in Papua and West Papua was slow and difficult. Fighting in the highlands of Puncak Regency, Papua Province in 2019 led to thousands of displaced persons relocating to the capital of Illaga. The local government recorded that as of June 2, approximately 3,019 persons from 23 villages remained displaced as a result of conflict.
Section 5. Governmental Posture Towards International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Abuses of Human Rights

43. Domestic and international human rights organizations generally operated without government restriction, except in Papua and West Papua, investigating and publishing findings on human rights cases and advocating improvements to the government’s human rights performance. Government representatives met with local NGOs, responded to their inquiries, and took some actions in response to NGO concerns. Some officials subjected NGOs to monitoring, harassment, interference, threats, and intimidation. On May 10, General Paulus Waterpauw stated that some NGOs and activists enflamed the situation in Papua and perpetuated the separatist movement there.The United Nations or Other International Bodies: The government generally permitted UN officials to monitor the human rights situation in the country, except in Papua and West Papua. Security forces and intelligence agencies, however, tended to regard foreign human rights observers with suspicion, especially those in Papua and West Papua, where their operations were restricted. NGOs continued to press the government to allow the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to visit Papua and West Papua to assess the human rights situation there.Government Human Rights Bodies: Many independent agencies addressed human rights problems, including the Office of the National Ombudsman, the National Commission on Violence against Women, and the National Human Rights Commission. The government is not required to adopt their recommendations and at times avoided doing so. Some agencies, including the human rights and violence against women commissions, may refer cases to police or prosecutors.

SYSTEMIC RACIAL OR ETHNIC VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION

44. The law contains provisions specifically aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination, providing criminal penalties for individuals who discriminate on ethnic/racial grounds, as well as sentencing enhancements for violent actions that include a racial or ethnic motivation. The law defines hate speech as spreading hate against a race, tribe, religion, or group. The government generally applied hate speech law in cases related to race.

45. NGOs reported that persons of Melanesian descent, predominantly from Papua and West Papua, faced widespread discrimination throughout the country. Persons of Melanesian descent often faced police abuse (see sections 1.c., 1.g., and 2.b.)

46. In a January interview, former National Intelligence Agency chief General Hendropriyono suggested that two million Papuans should be resettled away from their homeland so that they would be “racially separate from the Papuans in Papua New Guinea” and feel more Indonesian.

47. In January Ambroncius Nababan, chairman of the pro-president Widodo Projamin Volunteer Organization, used racist language and images of a gorilla to attack Natalius Pigai, former human rights commissioner and an ethnic Papuan, over Pigai’s criticism of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.

48. An Amnesty International report covering protests in July and August related to the extension and revision of special autonomy found that police officers involved in arresting or causing injury to Papuan protesters had referred to them as “monkeys.”

49. Papuan activists emphasized that although Papua and West Papua are rich in natural resources, the local Melanesian population has historically not fully benefitted from these resources and much of the local economy has long been controlled by non- Melanesians. Statistics Indonesia, a government agency, reported that in 2020 the provinces of Papua and West Papua had the lowest Human Development Index and highest poverty rate of the country’s 34 provinces. On July 15, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill extending special autonomy for the provinces of Papua and West Papua, which included an increase in the yearly allocation of government funds to Papua from 2 to 2.25 percent of the national budget intended to address this inequality. Opponents of this bill claimed the economic benefits of this increase would disproportionately benefit non- Melanesians.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

50. The government viewed all citizens as “indigenous” but recognized the existence of several “isolated communities” and their right to participate fully in political and social life. The Indigenous Peoples’ Alliance of the Archipelago estimated that between 50 and 70 million indigenous persons were in the country. These communities include 312 officially recognized indigenous groups in Papua. Indigenous persons, most notably in Papua and West Papua, were subjected to discrimination.

51. There was little improvement in respect for indigenous persons’ traditional land rights and access to ancestral lands remained a major source of tension throughout the country. The government failed to prevent companies, often in collusion with local military and police units, from encroaching on indigenous peoples’ land. Central and local government officials were also alleged to have extracted kickbacks from mining and plantation companies in exchange for land access at the expense of indigenous peoples.

52. Mining and logging activities, many of them illegal, posed significant social, economic, and legal problems for indigenous communities. Melanesians in Papua cited racism and discrimination as drivers of violence and economic inequality in the region.

OTHER SOCIETAL VIOLENCE OR DISCRIMINATION

53. Individuals suspected of using black magic were often targets of violence. In May prisoners in Merauke, Papua, killed two ethnic Marind prisoners accused of using magic to curse other prisoners.